Lessons Learnt: 

Choices from the Collection by The Southampton School of Art, Design and Fashion, Solent University

Founded in 1855 the Southampton School of Art has been housed in a number of locations across the city. In 1938 the Art School was housed within Southampton City Art Gallery, but this harmonious and rewarding pairing ended in tragedy on 6 November 1940 when a direct hit on the Gallery during a daytime bombing raid resulted in destruction and the loss of student and staff lives from the Art School. A devastating blow for the city and for the School, but somehow not only did it prevail in the face of adversity, it thrived. It is this deep historical connection and the potential promised by a contemporary re-pairing of the two institutions that forms the basis of this collaborative exhibition.

To demonstrate and celebrate the ongoing vitality of this city’s Art School and in the spirit of partnership, Students, Alumni, Honorary Doctors, Fellows and friends of the Southampton School of Art, Design and Fashion have been invited to work alongside staff at the City Art Gallery and select pieces from the collection that have inspired or influenced them. Course teams from the School have been asked to choose their selections as teaching aids to inform and support delivery of the curriculum to the Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.

Reflection, change and growth seem to have been the key principles behind the ongoing success of the Southampton School of Art Design and Fashion; its perseverance through difficult times, its willingness to see benefit through partnership and the entrepreneurial spirit it harnessed which provided the path for a modern institution, Solent University, to blossom in the heart of the city. As the current custodian and Dean of a School that is so deeply rooted in the fabric of this city it is clear to me that there are lessons to be learnt from the past and new learnings to be understood, employed and enjoyed in the future.

Professor Peter Lloyd ARE

Dean, Southampton School of Art, Design and Fashion, Solent University

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